I just finished my fourth rag rug on my Gilmore loom.  I was surprised how much I enjoyed making them ... such fun!  :)

My question, though, is this:  What exactly is the "laid in" method of joining the rag strips?

I tried the slit method on two of the rugs and then sewing the strips together on the last two.  Of course I have bumps where I tied the strips together and, while they are ok, I would like a smoother surface?

When sewing them together, I simply couldn't get the north/south, east/west figured out in my head so did a straight sew on them?  Here again, my joins show?  I know I'm not figuring the method correctly at this point but not sure where I am failing to understand?

So now I'm curious about the "laid in" method of joining?  Can anyone point me to a site that shows this method?  Or explain how it is done?

Thanks in advance.

God bless.



Posted on Mon, 07/19/2010 - 12:07

 Hi MerryMac,

To do the laid in method, you cut both ends of every strip on a very long angle and lay them on top of each other in the shed, close the shed, beat, change sheds, beat again.  The key is to create a very long edge by using the last 2" of the strip and cut it on a deep angle and placing the next strip on top with the opposite angle so it forms a sort of upside down letter "v".

I found the Rag Rug Handbook by Janet Meany and Paula Pfaff very helpful when making rugs.  It's available on Janet's website here.

Hope that helps,


Posted on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 16:21

I only use the laid in method. It's so much quicker than the sewing method and there are no bumps.  I keep my rags in a basket by my side, eliminating the need for a shuttle.

Posted on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 16:37

It's been a while since I wove rag-style rugs as I sold my trusty Union rug looms when we moved to Savannah a couple years ago... but I woven several hundred rugs using the laid-in method and no shuttle. I found the time saved sewing the strips together and winding them on the shuttle was much more time-consuming (and boring...) than getting right into weaving.  

I used Woolrich millend fabric that I cut into about 1" strips depending on the thickness of the fabric (.75" for thicker and 1.25" for thinner fabric.)   Cutting each end of the strip in a deep wedge creates a uniform thickness of the weft throughout the piece.  Wool fabric makes beautiful resilient, thick rugs.  I also made wall-hangings creating geometric designs with the strips. 

I'm sad now that I no longer have my Unions... or the boxes and boxes full of Woolrich fabric that I once had!  I miss the satisfaction weaving the rug and then cutting the warp to take the rug off the loom, ,twisting the fringes and laying the finished rugs out on the floor where my dog would promptly turn around three times and lay down on the new rug with a grin! (...maybe I was just imagining the grin!)

Posted on Mon, 10/24/2011 - 17:09

Wow, I was thinking of using my cotton fabric scraps, but now I read that I can use the two totes of wool from a former rug braiding phase to make rugs once again!